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Flailing Speeds Hay Drying
Dean Nelson, Cloquet, Minn., speeds hay drying in the field by running it through a modified flail chopper that breaks up the stems and fluffs up the windrows.
Nelson flail chops directly behind his mower conditioner in separate operations. He's used the method for the past five years and says he's been able to save crops even when they're soaked with heavy rains. Nelson uses it on early cut hay that's high in moisture, then bales, with the use of preservatives, at moisture levels up to 30%. He says there's virtually no leaf loss and, if the hay is rained on, he runs it through the chopper again, which forces the water out. When weather is good, he uses the method to dry hay down to levels low enough to store without preservatives. One of the main benefits is the fact that the method lets him harvest high-quality forage for his 40-cow dairy herd without the use of a silo.

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #1